Archive for: May 2017

The Options For Secrets Of Pay For Essay

Help with essay writing? Surely this approach must be frowned upon through the authorities. Academic writing stress and anxiety result of an individual’s work, and a student should not ask for another writer to ‘fix your essay’. That is certainly true not surprisingly, but there is a degree to help which essay assistance is actually allowed, governed by a rule of conduct set out through the universities.

There should be no plagiarism, of course, nor any ‘ghosting’, but online academic composing services exist for the important task of editing for ‘clarity, flow and consistency. ‘ The student are able to submit their essay to get assessment in the vital instances grammar, spelling and punctuation – and turnaround might within 12 hours any time necessary.

It can be very difficult to spot mistakes within one’s own personal writing, academic or otherwise. It’s one of the strengths of a specialized proof-reading and editing assistance, which can correct grammar and additionally spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation. This type of online service is usually on hand, available 24-hours per day, all year round.

Grammatical trend is another key element within the clear presentation of your job. Clarity of thought along with the coherence of a well-plotted argument can be disguised by extended sub-clauses and the over-use of parentheses. If your reader is normally distracted from your main intent then your most powerful points might lost. This is an important aspect of essay assistance, and having your attention drawn to flaws in your grammatical style are much easier for a third party to identify. After all, you may know what you indicate, but your reader must also be capable of follow your line of assumed.

With essay help it is possible to submit your work with regard to assessment, yet retain complete control of the finished paper. The track changes function in Microsoft Word are useful to highlight any changes which have been made. These changes can be suggestions only, which can be approved or amended when the report has been returned.

There is no need to allow this to occur. If marks are wasted due to failures in speech or grammar, then a scholar will not only have undersold their true worth, but also wasted several of their energies. This is the value of essay assistance, with the ease of online connection throughout the year it is a potential tool which should not be not addressed.

A lengthy dissertation such as a dissertation can certainly benefit from presentational essay assistance. Maintaining consistency throughout a dissertation are probably the challenges which can be difficult to help you optimise, and is easy to forget. Such essay assistance could be the creation of pre-linked contents pages, management of heading and text format, inserting page breaks and additionally cover pages, adding headers and footers, and producing dynamic referencing.

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After Zoë was raped by her coworker, she went home to her empty apartment and cried for hours.

She felt confused. She didn’t think of the incident as rape until weeks later. She still doesn’t like to say the word aloud.

“It just sounds, like, so horrible,” Zoë, now 22, said. “I can’t bring myself to say even though I know that’s what it is.”

In the weeks following the incident, Zoë, who at the time was enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, found herself calling UT’s crisis hotline.

I think I remember being like my room in my apartment and having a panic attack,”  Zoë said. “They were trying to talk to me, trying to calm me down and give me resources.”

With the hotline’s help, she scheduled an emergency meeting for the next day at UT’s Counseling and Mental Health Center.


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Third year neuroscience major Jackie Roth was friends with Haruka Weiser prior to Weiser’s disappearance and death in April of 2016. Weiser’s murder shocked the UT community and jump started discussions about campus safety. Jackie says that Weiser’s death was not a reflection of holes in the UT’s safety policies, but rather a rare event that is a result of wider systemic issues facing the community.



The counseling center is one of many small pieces that make up a great puzzle of prevention programs, counseling, advocacy services and reporting options at UT. In addition to asking why students often choose not to report incidents of sexual assault or rape, our reporting team set out to make sense of this puzzle and ask whether these programs are effective.

Sexual assault and rape are not rare incidents among college students. In March, UT released a survey showing that 15 percent of undergraduate women at the university say they have been raped. The survey of 280,000 students found that 18 percent of students said they experienced “unwanted touching,” and 12 percent said they experienced attempted rape.

The lead researcher of the survey and many of the people interviewed for this article have stated the statistics provided by the report are unfortunately unsurprising. They are reflective of national data, both on college campuses and of the general population.

“UT is a microcosm of what’s happening around country, the world,” said Katy Redd, the associate director for prevention and outreach at the CMHC. “Gender based violence is all too common.”

The survey also says very few victims — 6 percent — disclosed incidents to someone involved with the university. Of the 32 percent of victims who said they told someone about the incident prior to taking the survey, 4 percent reported to the CMHC. Just one percent reported to the University of Texas at Austin Police Department.

“I think there’s a whole host of reasons [for non-reporting],” Redd said.

Breall Baccus is a Title IX prevention coordinator and confidential advocate at UT. She said students may feel hesitant to come forward “because they don’t know what the next steps would be.”

“They might also not realize what happened to them was assault,” Baccus said.



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The university hired Baccus in January to fill a gap in the Title IX office. By law, the university must comply with Title IX, which “prohibits sex discrimination in education,” according to UT’s Title IX information page. Unlike other members of UT’s compliance team, Baccus is not required by law to open incidents for investigation. When students come to her to disclose an incident, Baccus can explain their options, which could include filing an official report depending on how the student chooses to go forward.

The university amped up security and sexual assault prevention efforts following the on-campus sexual assault and killing of freshman Haruka Weiser last spring. In addition to increasing police presence, the university’s Be Safe campaign has used social media and student art to promote safety messages such as walking in well lit areas and not walking alone.

“It’s just a softer way of addressing things that are going on in campus and the way to increase their safety,” said UTPD Sgt. Samantha Stanford.

Stanford’s hire, like Baccus’s, was in part to address issues of interpersonal violence on campus. As a detective, she has received specialized training to help victims of sexual assault or rape. UTPD also offers free self-defense courses for women upon request, and Stanford said the department is looking into holding separate self-defense classes for men.

UTPD’s jurisdiction ends beyond the campus borders, and Stanford said that incidents in a private residence or in West Campus might be transferred to the Austin Police Department. Stanford also said sometimes the legal definition of sexual harassment or sexual assault differs from what the university or community may use. Despite these limitations, Stanford said she is available to meet with students to answer questions or explain the legal process.

“We’re trying to… brainstorm on how we can make the process a little bit easier for victims of sexual assault to come forward and feel comfortable with reporting to us,” Stanford said.

“I think that every student should have a right to feel safe and get the education that they want to get,” Breall said, “and not have a traumatic experience get in the way of that.”



Ian’s Giving Garden

Video by Alessandra Rey and Sydney Rubin


Written by Michaella Marshall and Sydney Rubin

When Ian McKenna was eight years old, he began building gardens.

He was inspired by a story his sister Addison told him one day after school.  

A girl began to cry one day in Addison’s first-grade class. The girl came from a low-income family and could not afford Christmas presents. She told Addison that Santa would never visit her home because she thought he hates poor people. The story upset McKenna, so he decided to take action.

“I decided to do something about that,” McKenna said.

At 5 a.m. on Christmas morning that year, McKenna and his family visited the girl in Addison’s class. They brought food and presents, which caused a flood of emotions from the girl’s parents. It was a reaction McKenna will never forget, a reaction that made him think about what else he could do to help others.

That’s when McKenna found out that many students at his elementary school only ate when the school provided a free meal. Ian decided to to build his own garden to grow produce and feed the hungry.

“I’m growing gardens to help feed people who can’t afford fresh and healthy meals,” McKenna said.

McKenna, who is now in eighth grade, has constructed four “Ian’s Giving Gardens” over the years. He currently houses gardens at Sunset Valley Elementary, Oakhill Elementary School, the Big Brother Big Sister mentoring center and his own home.

“Ian is an extremely thoughtful kid,”, Ian’s mother Sarah McKenna said. “He named his first garden his ‘Hacienda Garden’ and planted foods that are found in Hispanic dishes because he knew that the majority of the students at the school are Hispanic. For the garden he is planting today, he chose produce that is colorful because he said he wanted to help the preschoolers to learn their colors and for them to be excited.”

The garden at Sunset Valley has made its way into the elementary school’s curriculum. Emily Bush, the principal at Sunset Valley, is impressed with how many people in the community benefit from Ian’s Giving Gardens.

The produce from the gardens is sent to families in need, local farmer’s markets and food shelters across the city.

“We’re blown away with how much produce it’s yielding,” Bush said. “He’s been able to provide a whole dinner for the homeless.”

Students at Sunset Valley use the plants in the garden for research in science classes. Being able to go outside to the garden and look at the plants provides a great hands-on experience for the kids.

“It has had a major impact on the students,” Bush said.

The school has even created its own garden committee, including parents, faculty and other community members.

McKenna’s favorite plants to grow are scorpion peppers, Carolina reaper peppers, fruits and potatoes.

“Picking potatoes are like a scavenger hunt,” McKenna said. “Time to search.”

McKenna dreams of studying meteorology and astronautical engineering to help with his gardens in the future. He hopes to one day plant gardens across the U.S. and eventually around the world. His dream spot to grow a garden is Africa.

Photos by Michaella Marshall

By the numbers

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Infographics by Bella Tommey

Community members respond to possible relocation of HOPE Outdoor Gallery

Story by Amanda Pinney & Edited by Bryan Rolli

Photos By Tess Cagle

Video Filmed and Edited by Kailey Thompson


Splashes of neon paint explode off the concrete walls nestled into the grassy hill on 11th and Baylor Street, home to Austin’s iconic graffiti park, the HOPE Outdoor Gallery. Each layer of spray paint reveals a colorful mess of chunky bubble letters, intricate murals and hastily scribbled phrases. The artwork changes constantly, as the space welcomes myriads of locals and tourists who need only a spray can and a bit of inspiration to leave their mark on the city.

The HOPE Outdoor Gallery was developed in 2010 as a short-term art installation linked to the HOPE Campaign and created with the intention to channel and promote positive messages in the community. Property developers planned to turn the gallery’s concrete walls — remnants of an abandoned construction project from the 1980s — into condos once the installation ran its course.

View the rest of the story here.

Austin’s Inclusive Space for Women’s Organizations

Story by Selah Maya Zighelboim
Video by Elise Cardenas
Photos by Elise Cardenas and Yelitza Mandujano
Graphics by Yelitza Mandujano and Julie Gomez
Audio by Julie Gomez

In an Austin Community College classroom on a Saturday morning, a group of women gathered to learn about running for public office. The youngest was in elementary school, while the oldest had grandchildren. They varied in race, ethnicity and even nationality, but they had all shown up to “Preparing to Run,” a class put on by Annie’s List, a Texas-based organization that supports progressive women’s political campaigns.

“While women are less likely to run, women are as likely to win,” said Kimberly Caldwell, Annie’s List program director who led the session.

“Preparing to Run” was just one of the 18 sessions that made up the Women’s Empowerment Conference, or WE Con. On Saturday, April 22, the fourth annual WE Con took place at the Eastview campus of Austin Community College. The conference held workshops and discussions on issues such as intersectionality, self-care and civic engagement, with sessions like the “Reproductive Rights Panel,” “A Lion’s Voice: Creative Writing Workshop” and “Bilingual Yoga.” The conference also aimed at being inclusive and welcoming with Spanish-language programming and a childcare room.

Learn more about WE Con’s inclusive & bilingual programming


WE Con is put on by the Women’s Community Center of Central Texas, an organization that seeks to create a space for different feminist organizations to come together and connect.

“I love being able to go to a feminist conference that is built from the community and made up of people who are all interested in broadening their perspectives and talking with each other,” said Nora Greenstein Biondi, an attendee at the conference and Women’s and Gender Studies student at the University of Texas.

According to staff member Danea Johnson, the Center chooses organizations for the conference that engage and empower women. Johnson says she looks at organizations that help women get involved in activism, express themselves creatively or take care of their mental well-being.

“We were looking at different ways to get involved in the community,” Johnson said. “[We were] looking at different organizations that have been doing things for the past few years, different ways for women to plug into the community and get involved, whether it’s arts or activism or social justice.”

Civics 101: WE Con speaker, Amy Stansbury of the Austin EcoNetwork explains how to get involved in local government.


For Johnson, one particular group that encapsulates this idea of “plugging into the community” is Annie’s List, which participated in WE Con for the first time this year. This group encourages women to get involved with the political process, which the Center’s team sees as necessary for women’s needs to be met politically.

Annie’s List communication director Awo Eni said they saw the conference as a perfect fit for one of their “Preparing to run” classes. Eni says that women tend to need to be asked to run for office, so the program and its workshops aim to encourage that idea for women.

“In Texas, women make up the majority of the state’s population, but they only hold 20 percent of elected office in the state of Texas at both the state and local level,” Eni said. “When progressive women are put in office, they make life better for everyone. Representative democracy is very important to us, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

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Though Annie’s List doesn’t have plans to work with the Center in the future, Eni said they probably would if they had the opportunity.

Annie’s List spokesperson Marjorie Clifton says that more women are needed in public offices so that women’s needs are taken more seriously. For example, prostate cancer research used to receive significantly more funding than ovarian cancer research, but because there are more women in public office now, those numbers are more egalitarian.

“It’s natural that we consider things in our life experiences that are unique to us,” Clifton said. “One of the most important things about having parity in any kind of structure — whether it’s businesses or the legislature — what our legislature is designed to do is not only represent all the genders, but all the races and socioeconomic backgrounds and making sure that it’s truly reflective of the people we’re taking care of.”

Along with WE Con, the Center has a film series called Alt Girl Cinema and workshops throughout the year. Currently, the Women’s Community Center has office space at the PeopleFund, but its board would like to get the Center its own building. To do that, the team is gathering input from the community to hear what individuals would like from that space.

“There’s an interest in women’s issues, a tide that may have started with the Women’s March and a yearning to keep that momentum going,” interim executive director Susannah Erler said. “We want to help keep that momentum going.”

WeCon Demographics

The Pay gap



Where Western Psychology and Curanderismo Meet

Story by: Itzel Garcia

AUSTIN—Along the Arizona-Mexico border, Alicia Enciso Litschi grew up listening to the word “curanderismo,” a traditional healing practice of Mexican indigenous roots, as part of her Mexican-American culture and upbringing.


Photo Courtesy of Enciso Litschi

Much later, after earning a PhD in counseling psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, Litschi began implementing traditional curanderismo practices to her profession until she reached a balance between western psychology and curanderismo where both methods of healing worked with each other.

“Curanderismo includes a holistic perspective, it includes the body, the mind, the soul and spirit. If a person is sick, then it is because there’s something wrong with any of these. There’s an imbalance,” Litschi said. “This is something very new to western psychology but beginning to be implemented.”

Both, a curandera and a psychologist, Litschi practices psychotheraphy, or what she calls, “Con alma” or “With soul” therapy. Litschi mainly treats patients with depression, anxiety, social anxiety and imposter syndrome. She also focuses on personal, spiritual and career growth.

The history of curanderismo dates back to indigenous practices before the colonization of Latin America and has developed mainly around Mexican and Mexican-American culture, but Litschi’s approach is inclusive to all ethnicities.

“[If]clients have an open mind to spiritual connections, and if I think it’s something they would appreciate, I tend to use curanderismo to bring a connection with the spirit and earth,” Litschi said.

One of the main curanderismo rituals Litschi implements are “limpias” or spiritual cleansings, in which a person is caressed and rubbed with specific plants. Sometimes, an egg is used to transfer the energy from the body of the patient to the egg. Often, limpias are used to diagnose patients.

“I’ve done limpias with my clients, but also have taught them how to do it themselves because I think that’s also important,” Litschi said.

However, though curanderismo is practiced in professional spaces like in Litschi’s case, it isn’t generally legitimized by western methods of healing.

Curanderismo for the most part is not a certified approach to counseling, Dr. Rachel Gonzalez-Martin said, associate professor in the Mexican American and Latino Studies (MALS) program at UT-Austin.

“Curanderos tend to learn as apprentices –but they aren’t certified like midwives who work in hospitals,” Gonzalez-Martin said. “I think there are informal social networks of training and apprenticing that are more valued than others, also many may also be registered nurses or (have) PhD’s in related health fields.”

Since curanderismo is not certified, specific empirical evidence is difficult to come across of. But there are surveys that record how many U.S. citizens take a holistic approach to mental health.

According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2002, 75 percent of adults in the US have used some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In 2009, 10 percent of children with special health care needs used alternative medicine.

In fact, the recognition of curanderismo by Western psychology is one of Litschi’s main passions that continues to shape her work and her future.

“Curanderismo is it’s own expression of science and needs to be taken seriously,” Litschi said.

Meanwhile, curanderismo remains relevant to cultural practices, specifically with Mexican and Mexican American youth and families.

“There’s been an emphasis in trying to reclaim that which was not lost but which was in hiding.” Litschi said. “It happens a lot within academic spaces, especially when speaking to Mexican American students.”

Celia Valles, a Biochemistry senior at UT Austin, who completed a student thesis about curanderismo, remembers the hands of her aunt rubbing her face, arms and stomach with an egg to release a headache, or an emotional ailing, or what is known as “mal de ojo.”

“I went to a school where most students came from Mexican descent, where the idea of mal de ojo and rubbing yourself with an egg was really common,” Valles said.“Like sometimes, whenever my mom thinks I’m giving too much attitude, she says to me: you need to go get a limpia. Right now.”


Birdwatching in the 21st Century


Photos courtesy of Chris DuCharme and Phil Butler. Article and graphic by Courtney Runn

“I looked this morning and didn’t see her at all.”

“She’s come out twice. She was chasing the vultures away.”

Chris DuCharme and Phil Butler stand outside of Hogg Auditorium on The University of Texas’s campus almost everyday. From around noon till 2 p.m., you can find them staring up at the UT tower hoping to catch a glimpse of the Peregrine Falcon that lives on top of it. As soon as the bird appears, they pull out cameras, foot-long lenses trained on the sky.

“I kinda joke that he’s the master and I’m the apprentice,” said Butler. DuCharme has been observing the peregrine for several years while Butler just joined him this February. Butler is a program coordinator for the School of Liberal Arts and joins the veteran birdwatcher during his lunch break.

Most of their time is spent waiting. They alternate between sitting and standing and will occasionally walk around the tower for a different angle. Only through their zoom lenses can they truly get a glimpse of the peregrine’s life atop the tower. A problem technology could easily fix. They have a pretty good idea of the bird’s routines, but a web cam could fill in the gaps when they can’t be present in person.

Butler watches a web cam in Pennsylvania that offers viewers constant footage of falcons from several angles. Through this up-close look into their world, he has been able to watch their life: babies hatching, the mother bringing back food to the nest, both parents flying in and out.

“To see it that close up…it’s mind-boggling,” said DuCharme. “Fifteen years ago, nobody thought about that kind of stuff.”

birds-in-texas_22107984_ece29e6eb149112e16d4ae387a208fc512e09c37The Internet, digital cameras, and smart phones have ushered in a new era of birdwatching, making the hobby more accessible. Through web cams and digital cameras, birds can be seen up-close at any time. Websites like eBird allow users to track their own bird sightings, explore bird maps, and alert others to their finds. The tagline for the site is “Birding in the 21st Century.”

Pre-Internet days, DeCharme remembers getting alerts via telephone about bird sightings, but they would be delayed. Technology offers immediacy. If an eBird user records a rare bird sighting, members in the area could know about the bird in real time.

Smart phones also allow for more accessible birdwatching with apps to help users recognize species, record bird calls, and quickly record video or take a picture for later study.

Sheila Hargis works in the police department as a civilian but has been an avid bird watcher for 20 plus years. She volunteers with Travis Audubon, a local chapter of Audubon, a national bird conservation and observation society. Instead of carrying field guides with her on Audubon field trips or personal outings, Hargis uses apps on her phone to identify birds.

“Some of these electronic field guides…link up to the eBird data and if there’s a bird you need to add to your life list then it will tell you, hey this bird is missing from your life list and there was one that just showed up in Bastrop last week and here is where it was seen,” said Hargis.

In 2014, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology released an app called Merlin, which helps new birdwatchers identify species. The app will ask a series of questions, from bird size to location of the sighting, then offer several possible matches of species that would normally be found in the area.

While technology makes birdwatching more accessible, it has drawbacks as well.

“We’re busy entering data on our phone,” said Hargis. “We’re maybe not as connected to watching what’s happening.”

UT student Agustín Rodrigeuz began birdwatching this semester for his class Biology of Birds. He fears technology would discourage people from going out into nature since “you [could] see more ‘exciting’ birds just browsing the Internet.”

DuCharme hopes that a web cam will be installed on the UT tower soon so he can get a more intimate look at his long-time companion. But he’s also not ready for birdwatching to become completely integrated with technology.

He has a few birds he’s got his eye on right now and he’s not sure if he’s ready to share them with the world yet.

UT Plant Center’s Deep Roots

Text By Noelle Darilek

Audio By Armando Maese

Photos By Meredith Knight

One the first floor of the University of Texas Tower tucked around a corner, there is a nearly invisible door which opens up to a small room with low ceilings, file cabinets, stacks of folders and files, and a small kitchen and office areas stuck off to the sides.

This is the UT Plant Resources Center, hardly the herbarium you’d imagine it to be. The space could almost double as a basement.

Bob Jansen, UT Plant Resources director, meets with George Yatskievych, botanist and curator at the resources center, every Wednesday to discuss topics like funding and future plans for the center.

Jansen has been a member of the university faculty since 1991. Fairly soft-spoken, he sits at the round kitchen table in a striped t-shirt next to Yatskievych and describes the resource center as a “hidden treasure.”

The university was founded in 1881 and the herbarium was created shortly after in the early 1890’s when Dr. Frederick W. Simonds came to work at UT. Simonds was interested in plant research and collected various plant specimens in the process, thus the herbarium was created.

However, it wasn’t called the Plant Resources Center until the mid-1980’s when the university took on a second major herbarium that was donated by famous botanist and archaeologist, Cyrus Lundell. Today it houses over a million different specimens, from wildflowers to seaweed, and is the largest herbarium in the Southwestern United States.

“All of our resources are dead,” said Yatskievych. “We are a giant morgue with plant cadavers.”

With specimens that date back to the 1760’s and the most recent being from last month, the resources center has seen a lot of changes in the type plant growth in the world over time. The center collects specimens and documents the plant, which was growing at a specific location and time.

“We take in about 7,000 new specimens each year,” said Yatskievych. “We accept well prepared plant specimen donations from anyone who has a need to have such specimens housed in a publically accessible museum where they can be catalogued, made available for study, and preserved for perpetuity.”

This includes donations from students and faculty, botanists, environmental consultants and even members of the public. The center relies on the person who collected the specimen to supply them with the information on where, when, and by whom it was collected.

The plant specimens are stored in folders in horizontal piles on shelves in specially constructed museum cabinets. These cabinets are tightly sealed to prevent insects, fire and flooding from ruining them. The specimens are then used mainly for scientific purposes, such as genetic testing.

Amalia Diaz, assistant curator, said the valuable plants are more than just plants – the plants have a lot of important data associated with it.

For example, the center has a plant called Eupatorium organense, a member of the sunflower family, from Captain Cook’s first voyage in the South Pacific. It is from 1768 and was found in the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil area. Several other plants from Captain Cook’s first voyage collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander can also be found here.

Being the only plant collection located on the UT campus, students studying a related field also utilize the resources center.

“We’re still finding uses for our collection,” said Yatskievych. “Last semester we had an artist who visited and imaged some of our specimens as inspiration and as raw materials for some of his art projects. So it’s not all science.”

With a staff of three, plus help from 10 undergrads who work part-time as herbarium assistants, the center wants to show that it is an important contribution to the university.

UT has been one of the lucky ones, as natural history collections, such as the one at Northeastern Louisiana University in Monroe, is facing impending closure.

“Natural history collections at public universities are especially vulnerable to loss of support and closure,” said Yatskievych. “Other institutions are scrambling to figure out how to arrange a transfer of the huge volume of materials…fortunately, the collections at UT appear to be stable for the immediate future.”

Jansen notes that universities tend to close resources centers down due primarily to limited funding and changing priorities.

“Collections are an easy thing to cut because at some places it probably doesn’t serve that many people at the university,” said Jansen. “At the Louisiana institution, they’re taking the space to build an athletic facility, so athletics is obviously more important to them than having collections.”

The 13th largest herbarium in the United States, the UT Plant Resources Center has a couple hundred visits annually for those coming to work with the plants, not counting visits from students for class related activities.

In an 80-year-old building, the small room in the UT Tower isn’t quite constructed to double as a plant resources center. Yatskievych said being located in the tower is kind of a trade off. While being centrally located for students, it can be hard to park at and get to for others that are not on campus.

The small staff knows their center can be hard to find, but are currently working on new strategies to get noticed.

The UT Plant Resources Center is currently awaiting the opening of a new biodiversity center to use as an opportunity for outreach. The center will bring together the various biodiversity collections at UT to have all in one place.

“In the past there were scattered collections, but the idea is to have a biodiversity center to have them under an umbrella,” said Diaz. “It’s going to have its own building and it’s going to be more visible to people.”

Jansen said the center would be more convenient and better for interaction, as UT’s collection would be housed with the other related ones.

“We’re on multiple floors of the tower and we’re grateful to have that space, but it isn’t very convenient,” said Jansen. “The curators and staff and directors of those other collections, it would be to their advantage for interactions to be in the same place.”

The center will not be open until the start of the upcoming fall semester and is part of the Integrative Biology Department, directed by Dr. David Hillis.

“Having the center creates opportunities for better communications and potential shared projects among the collections and station staff, even though we are rather spread out in terms of locations,” said Yatskievych. “Having a center also hopefully will lead to a new building in the future where the natural history collections can be housed in a more state of the art museum facility.”

Even when the biodiversity center is created, the goal of the resources center will remain the same – to be as useful as possible to other people, whether it’s helping them with projects or identifying plants.

Although for now most people don’t know the resources center exists, Yatskievych said he and his staff are trying to help as much as they can. They want to continue serving the Texas population more and more.

“We want as many different people excited about plants and nature as we can get in through our door,” Yatskievych said.


Audio Script

Since the 1890’s, the Plant Resources Center has been one of the UT Tower’s hidden treasures. It houses over one million dead plant specimens that have mainly been donated by people outside of the university.


“We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t able to show that we are important for research education and outreach. The university doesn’t just allow things to exist just because they are. Nothing is safe in that sense, everything has to show that it’s part of the community and contributing to the university’s mission.”-George Yatskievych


George Yatskievych  is the head curator at the center and runs it alongside two other officials and a handful of undergraduate assistants. He believes that the plant resources center is a valuable resource for all kinds of projects, such as standard biology projects history dating projects and art collages.  The Center does not receive any money from UT, it solely relies on donations from others and grants from research projects. The Center is not in danger financially, but it is running into some other concerns.


“We’re open to the public so we don’t exclude anyone. We want as many people as possible excited about plants and nature as we can get through our door. It’s a little difficult because first off a lot of people don’t know we exist, we’re still working on marketing ourselves, branding ourselves, but also being at the university, parking is an issue. The university is big so sometimes it’s just a matter of being at the right part of campus and we try to help people with whatever type of questions they have, whether it’s a beginner or whether it’s someone who is very technically advanced.”- George Yatskievych


Bob Jansen, director of the plant resources center, says that another issue is the fact that many UT collections are scattered all over the place.


“A lot of the collections are over at the Pickle Research Center, which is 14 miles from here. That’s not very convenient for the people that are out there. It would be more convenient if everyone was out there or if it was somewhere else together. So that I think is something that we would like to see in the future and there’s certainly been a lot of discussion about it now. So I think there’s a reasonable chance it could happen.”- Bob Jansen


There have been talks of a biodiversity center, which would include the Plant Resources Center. Assistant curator Amalia Diaz believes this is a step in the right direction.


“When we talk about the new Biodiversity Center, this new initiative at UT, it’s giving us that opportunity to reach out to people in a different way, not only the enclosed collections but also different activities and they can see what we do and they can get involved so when it’s time to defend something you know what it is and you can go for it.”- Amalia Diaz


As the Plant Resources Center continues to grow, its variety of uses will also expand, as they are currently trying to reach out to property owners and others that did not know about the center before. Through this, it will be even more beneficial for not just UT, but rather the entire state of Texas and beyond. Armando Maese, multimedia newsroom.